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Exhausted Rye Neck Panthers Clawed by Rye

MAMARONECK. N.Y. – The Class B Rye Neck Panthers took the Class AA Mamaroneck Tigers to the final moments Friday night but lost by three points.

Those same Panthers had an eight-point halftime lead against the Class A Rye Garnets on Saturday, but victory once again eluded them. The Panthers led 23-15 at halftime but lost to the Garnets, 48-41, in the consolation game of the 15th annual Tiger Tournament.

Rye Neck (4-7) coach John Aguilar said that for his small team, the intensity of playing on back-to-back nights wore out his players. “(The game against Mamaroneck) was physically and emotionally draining,” Aguilar said. “I think we lost our legs a little in the end of the game. The kids were just drained.”

The coach credited Rye (3-4) for making shots at crucial points of the game, but said that by the second half on Saturday, his team had run out of steam.“You could clearly see that we were very spent from the night before,” Aguilar said.

Two players who made came up big in those key moments for the Garnets were Max Twyman and Teddy Ice. Twyman finished with 23 points to lead all scorers while Ice continually grabbed rebounds.

“I thought (they) in the second half looked like two young men that were possessed,” Rye coach Chris DiCintio said. “I just thought the two of them really took the game over.” DiCintio also said that Kamal Logue, who finished with nine points, was the “glue behind keeping the team together.”

Brendan Crowley finished with 17 points to lead Rye Neck, while Matt Franks added 11 points.

The Garnets only play a 15-game schedule this year because their three games at the Beach Ball Classic in Myrtle Beach do not count toward sectional seeding. So DiCintio knew that his team, which scored only 15 points in the first half, needed to make a stand Saturday if it wanted to keep his team's post-season hopes alive.

“At halftime, we talked about the fact that at some point, the way our season’s been going with shooting the basketball, you got to hit rock bottom before you can start to climb to the top,” DiCintio said. “This would be our gut check time to turn around our season and I just think that the guys really responded.”

As for the Panthers, Aguilar hopes that his players will be able to build on what they did in the past two nights against much larger schools in higher classifications. “I think for my kids to understand what they just did…If we can use the same energy, same intensity as we approach out league games starting next week, I think we can make a very nice run in (Class) B,” Aguilar said.

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